Broke-Living Bellande: Zero Dollars, 35,000 Followers

Jean-Robert Bellande
Jean-Robert Bellande

You won’t hear Jean-Robert Bellande described as the best poker player in the world but when it comes to Twitter, very few can touch him.

The 41-year-old started his Twitter account @BrokeLivingJRB a little over two years ago now with a simple premise. His profile read: “Poker Pro. Track my crazy swings as I take bankroll from zero to a million.”

Since then Bellande has accumulated 35,576 followers, become a bona fide rock star on the platform and one of the most instantly recognizable poker players.

“I never thought I’d get to 5,000 followers let alone 35,000,” he said.

“The cool thing about it that these are real followers, it’s not some list that automatically follows. This is all through word of mouth. People find it entertaining I guess.”

In the beginning Bellande received his share of haters, he still does, but slowly the detractors seemed to get on board and started cheering for him.

The former Survivor: China contestant attributes much of his success on the platform to his candid style of Tweeting.

“I just try to be as honest as possible. That means honest with the good stuff and with the bad.”

Jean-Robert Bellande
Jean-Robert Bellande
 

Tweeting Soul-Crushing Beats a Part of the Game

Despite his honest nature, Tweeting about massive downswings is challenging and Bellande admits there have been times where he shied away from the service for a few days after a big loss.

“It can be very, very brutal,” he said.

“You’re in a situation where you’re trying to stay on your feet and trying to put together a little bit of a roll and all of a sudden you get smashed by a one-outer or a two-outer. The last thing you want to do is go on Twitter and talk about it.”

Recently Bellande has had to change his in-depth reporting on the big games at Aria due to a request from some of the players.

“I play in a very cool game with some real heavy hitters,” Bellande said.

“Talking about my bankroll swings indicates what’s going on with them and they asked me to keep some of it private. I’m just being respectful of that.”

Fortunately for Bellande’s 35,000 followers he still plans on Tweeting a lot during the 2012 WSOP and his self-deprecating sense of humor has been on display over the first five days of series.

With all the talk of Twitter it would be easy to forget that Bellande is actually a pretty damn good poker player at the WSOP. He finished in the top 100 players in the Main Event the last two years running. He hopes to keep that streak alive this year.

Bellande fans may also be interested to know the pro recently launched a website that includes a blog and a store where you can buy JRB T-shirts.

“The ‘BR=0’ shirts seem to be selling really well,” laughed Bellande.

assets/photos/authors/_resampled/croppedimage6060-arthur-crowson.jpg
About Arthur Crowson

Arthur has been involved exclusively with the poker industry since the 2006 World Series of Poker where he still claims to have captured the first interview with a then-unknown player named Jamie Gold on one of the days leading up to the Main Event final table. Since then Arthur has been working full-time for PokerListings.com writing news stories, covering poker tournaments, interviewing players and capturing it all with his trusty Canon camera.

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Degen Dave 2012-06-01 06:15:22

His twitter isn't as exciting without the bankroll updates. Went from great to mediocre. Lost its raw feel, kinda forced now. But if ya haven't read the older tweets definitely go back read those some gold in those hills.

MikeAdande 2012-06-01 01:46:16

Great read. It's hard not to root for the guy after watching some of his televised bad beats. Hang in there JRB. Your story will have a happen ending.